Happy To Read Tuesday! Here we’re highlighting the 10 titles that our editors are most excited to add to their TBR shelves. For even more hot new releases, check out our Fall Previews for the best books coming out this season.
Travel to China with Madeleine Thien’s new novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Two generations of one musically-gifted family witness important moments in Chinese history: the Cultural Revolution and the protests in Tiananmen Square. Thien’s characters have rich inner lives to balance these broad cultural shifts, culminating in a novel that beautifully encompasses the personal and the political. Publishers Weekly gushed in a starred review, “Thien’s reach—though epic—does not extend beyond her capacity, resulting in a lovely fugue of a book that mediates on fascism, resistance, and personhood.”
There’s no better way to learn about a place than asking insightful questions of the people who live there. This is exactly what Tim Judah, a reporter for the Economist, sets out to do in this new book about Ukraine. The country’s complicated history doesn’t lend itself to answers or simple narratives, but Judah does an admirable job of leaning into the nuance and complexity. Readers will emerge with a fuller understanding of Ukraine and Eastern Europe as a whole. Kirkus raves in a starred review, “An enlightening, timely study of a misunderstood region of the world.”
If you’re at all tuned into the book community, you’ve already seen the stunning cover for Brit Bennett‘s novel. It’s been named a must-read book by a number of outlets, and we think you’ll see why once you dive in. The book takes place in a black community in Southern California, and focuses on the lives of three characters as they come of age and learn to deal with the consequences of choices made in their youth. Seventeen-year-old Nina Turner is still grieving after her mother’s suicide when she begins to date Luke Sheppard, the town’s former football star. When Nina becomes pregnant, she hides it from her devoutly religious best friend Aubrey. Years later, their lives are still entangled and the past comes back to haunt them.
Leah feels “stuck” in her life in New York. Things are rocky with her husband, and her career hasn’t taken off in quite the way she had hoped that it would. Then, a phone call comes that changes everything. Her old boss Judy has died in a car accident, and has left Leah the very car that cost Judy her life. This unexpected loss throws Leah into high gear, and she travels across the country to San Francisco to pick up the vehicle. Readers will love watching Leah’s growth during this life-changing journey.
Destiny Soria’s historical fantasy takes place in 1919 Boston. Johnny Dervish’s nightclub Cast Iron plays hosts to visitors who want to see hemopaths like Corinne and Ada in action. Hemopaths are individuals with the ability to create artistic illusions. Rather than being admired, they’re shunned in society and often imprisoned or experimented upon. When Johnny goes missing and Cast Iron performers become targets, Corinne and Ada realize they must rely on each other if they want to survive. This book has it all: nightclubs, mobsters, and magic. What more could you ask for?
In this new memoir, John Kaag writes about living out every Bookish reader’s lifelong dream when he discovers a library of thousands of books, many of them rare and valuable. The books belonged to William Ernest Hocking, a philosophy professor whose lifelong love of learning culminated in the impressive collection. Kaag set out to catalog the books, and unexpectedly, the books end up having a profound impact on Kaag himself, who was struggling in his personal life at the time. Readers who love philosophy and dream of undiscovered libraries will devour this memoir whole.
Fans of the Mitch Rapp series were undoubtedly saddened when creator Vince Flynn passed away three years ago, but Kyle Mills is continuing the series with this fifteenth installment sure to please longtime readers. Rapp is a CIA agent, and this tale finds him working to keep nuclear weapons from Pakistan away from the terrorists who want to use them. The plot is far-reaching, spanning from Russia to America, with danger lurking around every corner. With stakes this high, Mills will keep readers on the edge of their seats from the very first page until the last. Lovers of international spy thrillers, look no further.
Alan Gratz takes readers back to World War II in his new young adult novel. Michael O’Shaunessey, 13-year old son of the Irish ambassador to Germany, is a spy just like his parents. While his mother and father work closely with the Nazis, Michael joins Hitler Youth and begins reporting back any valuable information he hears. When he learns about Projekt 1065, he knows that he’s stumbled onto something truly important. To learn more, he must prove his dedication to the cause, even if it means risking his life.
The manor in Briar Hill once belonged to a British princess, but now it serves as a hospital for children with tuberculosis. Twelve-year-old Emmaline is one of the many patients there, though she’s the only one who sees the beautiful white horses in the mirrors. One day, she notices that a horse has escaped the mirror world and entered the garden on the hospital grounds. Emmaline sneaks out to find him and discovers a letter from the Horse Lord begging her to keep the stallion, named Foxfire, safe from the Black Horse who is hunting him. Megan Shepherd’s middle grade tale never makes it entirely clear if the magic is real or just part of Emmaline’s imagination, allowing readers’ own imaginations to take over and run wild.
In this picture book, author Jabari Asim and illustrator E.B. Lewis tell the story of how Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis got his start. As a child, John was inspired by the preacher at his church and longed to one day follow in his footsteps. When his family entrusted him with the care and keeping of their chickens, he realized that he finally had the audience he had been seeking. John began delivering sermons to the chickens and even decided to baptize them. For young readers, this is an ideal introduction to a man who spent his life fighting to bring positive change to America.